Used books corner at book fair mooted

933724By Fahad Al Ghadani — MUSCAT: Feb 20 – Book lovers have called for a ‘corner for used books’ at the 22nd edition of Muscat International Book Fair, which opens on Wednesday. The fair, which will be held at the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre, will run until March 4. Huziem al Mani, who has been making efforts to promote reading habit in the community, says an “effort from the authority in this direction counts”.
“Profits can be used in different ways, including charity, or promoting reading by gifting books to those interested in reading but have no money to purchase them,” said Al Mani.
He said the public will welcome such a move. “The public can save cash when they visit the fair to buy new books. Old books help cut costs.”
Welcoming the idea, Fawaz al Farsi, another book lover, said that the Ministry of Information can entrust the task of having a ‘used book corner’ to a company or a group.
“Organising a big event requires tremendous effort. Therefore, such matters can be handled by a select group or company,” he said.
Such an idea, he felt, would promote book reading in the community.
The press conference to announce the book fair was attended by Ali bin Khalfan al Jabri, Undersecretary, Ministry of Information, and Head of the Media and Marketing Team; Shaikh Hamad bin Hilal al Mamari, Undersecretary, Ministry of Heritage and Culture for Cultural Affairs, Deputy Chairman of the Main Committee and Head of the Cultural Programmes and Events Team; and Yousef bin Ibrahim al Balushi, Director of Muscat International Book Fair and spokesman of the fair.
A total of 750 publishing houses (590 directly, 160 through agencies) from 28 countries are taking part in the fair stretching over 12,114 square metres with 1,200 pavilions.
A total of 450,000 titles will be on display at the fair, 30 per cent of which are new.
It will have pavilions for official organisations, foreign books, children’s books. A total of 37 official organisations from Oman and rest of the world will take part, besides 34 publishing houses from the Arab, Gulf and foreign countries.
It will be open from 10 am to 10 pm, except on Fridays (4 pm to 10 pm).
The fair will have cultural, literal and art events organised in collaboration with the Fair Organising Committee and Cultural Club, Cultural Forum, Libraries, National Commission for Youths, Oman National Human Rights Commission, Scientific College for Design, Fatima Al Alyani Salon, Sultan Qaboos Higher Center for Culture and Science, National Youth Commission, Dr Saida Bint Khatir Cultural Salon and others.